Real Estate Definitions Handbook for Sales, Marketing & Tech Terminology
If you’re a real estate agent in today’s digital world, it’s crucial that you adopt the technological solutions that are available to you, since we’re living in an increasingly technologically-advanced world. By arming yourself with a knowledge of relevant tech terms and tools, and harnessing the power of these solutions to improve your business, you can make processes simpler and more successful — both for you and your clients. A knowledge of tech terminology can also help ensure you stay on-par (or ahead!) of your competitors. Here are some of the most important terms you should know.
Real Estate Tech Terminology:
- CRM – A CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management software. A real estate CRM is designed to help you manage client data, track the progress of your leads to see where they are in the buying process, and to give you a holistic report of your sales funnel. For real estate applications, this type of software will connect directly to your IDX website.
- IDX Website – An IDX, or Internet Data Exchange website, is how realtors can show properties syndicated on any MLS on their own website. It’s different from a regular website in that it can access MLS data without you manually updating any listings.
- Chatbots – Chatbots are a type of artificial intelligence (AI) that can respond to human questions automatically. Real estate professionals can use chatbots to answer questions about your company, provide facts about properties, and help you capture additional leads from your IDX website and import them directly into your CRM.
- Cloud computing – In cloud computing, data is stored and manipulated via the Internet at a remote location rather than at your physical computer sitting on your desk. Cloud computing is used to handle heavy computing applications as well as protecting sensitive client information.
- Cloud storage – Much like cloud computing, cloud storage uses remote servers to host your data rather than at your desk on a physical hard drive. Real estate agents can leverage ‘The Cloud’ to store huge amounts of data (like pictures, videos, and more) without needing extensive equipment.
- Mobile-responsive – Websites that are mobile-responsive will retain a similar look and feel on mobile devices as they do on desktop. When you visit your IDX website, you’ll notice elements on the webpages will automatically adjust to compensate for the new screen size.
- API – API stands for application program interface. APIs are interfaces for software, and you can integrate many popular APIs into Chime, including MailChimp, BombBomb, and Zillow to name a few.
- Lead importing – If you have an existing list of leads, you can import them into your CRM. This will help you better track them and organize all of your information in one place.
- Lead routing – Within your CRM system, lead routing routes specific leads to specific agents within a company. Lead routing ensures the right prospects are handed to the right agent or broker.
- Lead scoring – Lead scoring is the process by which you rank your prospects against a scale that shows you what a leads perceived value is. Lead scoring ensures you spend time on the prospects that you believe will end up being the most valuable to your bottom line.
- Dynamic lead scoring – Dynamic lead scoring is variable lead scoring based on how a lead engages with your follow-ups. Dynamic lead scoring let’s you monitor how a lead moves through your funnel based on your sales efforts.
- Automation – Automation allows you to automate processes that don’t need to be done by humans and take up your time. Some of the things that can be automated including lead scoring, lead routing, lead nurturing, and more.
- VR – Virtual Reality (VR) is a branch of interactive technology that immerses the user into a virtual environment. Virtual walk-throughs are a popular application of VR in real estate.
- Virtual numbers – Virtual numbers are telephone numbers that aren’t directly associated with a telephone line. They are often programmed so that they forward calls to another designated phone number. Externally, virtual numbers allow realtors to avoid publicizing their own personal telephone number. Internally, your CRM can log your sales efforts when using a virtual number, including the number of successful contacts, call length, and even call recording.
Real Estate Marketing Terminology:
- Lead generation – The process of attracting leads to your company. Lead generation channels like listing portals, email marketing, and prospecting help bring in potential customers who may want to do business with you.
- Online leads – Online leads are a source of leads generated via the Internet. You can have several sub-groups of online leads, including paid leads (from ads you pay to place) and organic leads (which find you via a search on a search engine).
- Organic leads – A type of online lead that discovers your IDX website on a SERP (search engine results page). The lead performs a keyword search to discover your site, e.g. ‘real estate in Palo Alto.’ Organic leads are inherently free as they are a reward from search engines for your SEO marketing efforts for building and running an SEO-friendly website.
- Content marketing – An inbound marketing strategy in which companies create valuable, high-quality content to draw in leads. Content marketing proves to potential customers that you are a knowledgeable expert and trustworthy. Content marketing is also great for lead nurturing.
- Email marketing – A marketing strategy that uses email to generate and nurture leads. You can measure the success of your email marketing efforts by analyzing:
- Open rate – measures how many people open the messages you send
- Click through rate – measures how many people actually click the links in your email messages.
- Bounce rate- measures how many emails are not deliverable.
- Drip campaigns – Drip campaigns use steady, triggered messages over time to nurture leads.
- Google Display Network – An advertising network offered by Google through which businesses place display ads on a huge range of sites across the web.
- Google AdWords – Google AdWords is an specific advertising service provided by Google. It allows agents to set a budget for a specific keyword search, so when a potential lead searches for a particular keyword, that agent’s ad appears at the top.
- CPC – CPC stands for cost per click. This is the cost an agent will pay in order to get a potential lead to click on an ad.
- CPL – CPL stands for cost per lead. This is the cost an agent will pay per lead they are able to generate.
- Conversion rate – This is the percentage of users who end up converting or completing a desired action or goal. The definition of conversion rate will vary between agent, but most often conversion rate means the measure of how many leads convert into clients.
- SEO – SEO stands for search engine optimization. This is the process through which website owners can optimize their domain (via keywords, tags, and a myriad of other variables) to ensure a given page ranks high in search results to attract organic leads.
- Referral marketing – A marketing method in which products or services are promoted via word of mouth. Your Sphere of Influence (SOI) is often times your greatest ally for referral marketing.
- Social media marketing – A marketing method that takes advantage of social media to generate leads and increase brand awareness. Social media marketing for real estate agents may include paying for promoted posts or posting content on a consistent basis on platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, for example.
- Text message/SMS marketing – A type of marketing that sends texts directly to potential customer’s cell phones in order to generate interest or provide deals/offers. Text message marketing is a powerful sales tool for real estate agents.
Real Estate Sales Terminology:
- Rainmaker – Rainmakers are real estate moguls or experts. They bring in business simply because of their reputation, and they close many deals thanks to their prowess and negotiation talent.
- Sales funnel – The sales funnel is the buying process through which customers go from the time they discover a company until the time they decide to buy from them.
- Sales automation tools – Sales automation tools are software programs that make the sales process easier. Sales automation tools can do things like tracking customer interactions and analyzing the entire sales cycle.
- TOFU, MOFU, BOFU – These stand for top of funnel, middle of funnel, and bottom of funnel. These are the parts of the sales funnel, and indicate a lead’s expressed level of interest in making a purchase.
- Lead nurturing – Lead nurturing, also known as lead cultivating, is the process of developing relationships with potential buyers throughout every portion of the sales funnel. Lead nurturing includes marketing efforts and communication in an actionable strategy in order to give leads helpful information.
- Positioning – Positioning is a marketing strategy in which companies try to brand themselves as different or distinct from competitors. Positioning helps agents appeal as the best real estate representative to their intended audience of potential customers.
- Lead conversion – Lead conversion describes the overall journey a successful lead takes throughout your pipeline, from the first hello to escrow.
- Lead follow-up – After a lead has been captured by your company, lead follow-up is the process of following up with that person and maintaining or gauging their interest. Lead follow-up can come in many forms, including phone calls and emails.
- Lead response strategy – The plan that you use to respond to people that indicate they are leads. Your lead response strategy should begin the second a lead is imported into your CRM.
- Inside sales – Inside sales is the process of selling to customers over the phone or via the Internet — not meeting them face-to-face. Real estate inside sales agents rarely meet with potential customers in person before they buy.
- Prospecting – Prospecting is when inside sales agents reach out to cold leads in hopes of determining if they are ready to buy. Prospecting happens today via the phone and email.
- Buyer’s consultation – A buyer’s consultation happens when a prospective home buyer meets with a potential buyer’s agent to see if they are a good fit. After a buyer’s consultation, buyers can decide whether they want to work with the agent — or not. These are usually free and marketed as “zero obligation.”
- Listing presentation – A listing presentation happens when a real estate agent pitches sellers in hopes of landing the opportunity to sell their home.
Common Real Estate Acronyms and Colloquialisms:
- Sphere of influence – In real estate, the sphere of influence includes all of the people that know you, which includes people who you have personal and professional relationships with. Agents can leverage their sphere of influence to generate business via referrals.
- FSBO – FSBO stands for For Sale By Owner. When people choose to sell FSBO, they do without the representation of a broker or agent. FSBOs are an excellent source of seller leads but may require extensive lead nurturing campaigns to help them understand the value you bring to the transaction.
- Expired listings – Real estate listings have a time frame – once that time frame is up, they are marked as expired. Expired listings on the MLS system appear with an “X.” Positioning yourself to an expired listing lead includes nurturing the lead with market reports and anecdotes of past sales in the same market.
- Short sale – In a short sale, the seller’s lender accepts less than the amount owed for the property, in order to release an existing mortgage.
- REO – REO stands for Real Estate Owned. REO properties are owned by a lender (bank, government agency, etc.)
- Probate – A probate sale is a home that is sold when someone has died and they have not designated who the real estate should be left to.
- Farming – Farming an area in real estate means that an agent has cultivated a large amount of business in a specific geographical area or neighborhood.
- Direct mail – Direct mail is a marketing strategy where you mail information or advertisements about your property or services to potential customers.
- Builders and developers – In real estate, developers prepare empty land to put structures on. Builders actually build those structures.
- Just sold – Just sold means that a property has sold and is no longer on the market.
- Just listed – Just listed means that a property has recently come on the market and been listed on MLS.
- Paid referral sources – Sources of leads that brokers pay in exchange for recommending their services to a lead.
- Paid lead sources – Paid lead sources include leads that come from something you’ve paid money for, including your broker or any paid marketing campaigns, like AdWords.
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